At the first sign of stroke, you need experts who can promptly diagnose and treat. The experienced neurologists at Mercy Downtown and Mercy Southwest provide coordinated response and specialized stroke services 24 hours a day.
Our Primary Stroke Centers at Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest are certified by The Joint Commission and focus on improving long-term outcomes for stroke patients and providing community awareness and education.
What is a Stroke
A stroke is the result of sudden loss of blood flow to the brain due to blood vessel blockage or clot burst. Loss of blood flow deprives the brain of oxygen and glucose (sugar), and causes rapid buildup of waste products that injure or kill brain cells. When brain cells are injured or die, the bodily functions they control such as speech or use of limbs are impaired or lost. Stroke can also affect your memory, ability to understand and emotions.
Types of Stroke
There are three types of stroke:
- Ischemic strokes are the most common type. They're caused when blood vessels leading to the brain become blocked, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain.
- Transient ischemic attacks(TIAs) are indicators of a high risk for stroke. In a TIA, the blood clot occurs for a short time and resolves itself. Although TIAs are temporary, they're strong indicators of a possible major stroke.
- Hemorrhagic strokes occur when blood vessels in or around the brain break.
How Do I Minimize My Risk for Stroke?
Many risk factors can be controlled or treated to reduce your chance of having a stroke:
- High blood pressure – limit salt intake, exercise regularly, and take medications as prescribed
- Tobacco use and smoking – your doctor can offer programs to help you quit
- Alcohol use – do not have more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men
- Diabetes – control your blood sugar through proper diet, exercise and medication
- High cholesterol – eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; reduce intake of red meat, dairy products and eggs; exercise; and take medications as prescribed
- Excessive weight and physical inactivity – try to get 30 minutes of physical activity each day
Exceptional Stroke Care at Mercy
As a Joint Commission certified primary stroke center:
- Our stroke team receives detailed information about a patient's condition from Emergency Medical Services allowing us to be ready the moment our patients pass through the emergency room doors.
- Our team has rapid access to intravenous infusion of Activase®, the only FDA-approved medication for stroke.
- Our stroke team follows the American Stroke Association's Get with the Guidelines Patient Program, improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.